The Gather Together project was funded as part of Brightlife’s ‘Bright Ideas’ strand. This fund encouraged local groups, voluntary organisations and businesses to come forward with ideas to reduce isolation and loneliness for older people within areas or communities of interest.
Gather Together was delivered by Haylo Theatre, a two-woman community theatre company specialising in performances and workshops about difficult subjects, with an award of £19,715.
The project team reported that many participants said they had discovered a newfound sense of confidence, pride and joy as a result of taking part in the project.
“Haylo Theatre are passionate about implicating change for the good, and as the Gather Together project proved, we are able to transform isolated, unfocused or disengaged individuals into a group of people who successfully share their passions and experiences, listen to each other, and think of the past, present and future with hope and joy. We want our work to inspire people to dance out of the door with a tune in their head, laugh at old jokes, prompt new questions and most of all create self-worth.”
As a result of the experience and confidence gained by delivering the Gather Together project, the Haylo Theatre team are now planning to offer ‘Gather Together’ workshops to a wider audience, tailored for different age groups and demographics.
They are also writing and developing a theatrical production exploring the narratives of socially isolated people (with contributions from the Gather Together project participants informing the final piece), to inspire and encourage other communities in the region to address isolation.